PaaS vs. SaaS vs. IaaS: What’s the Difference?
Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computing resources delivered over the internet. Cloud providers allow for the utilization of computing resources without maintaining physical hardware. There are some types of delivery for cloud computing resources. These delivery models offer different layers of abstraction for the user, and each has advantages and disadvantages depending on the developer’s needs. There are three popular delivery models:
-Platform as a Service (PaaS),
-Software as a Service (SaaS).
What is the difference between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS?
IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are all options of cloud delivery models, but they have their own pros and cons and they are not the same. The level of abstraction they offer the end-user is the only difference between them.
IaaS is a cloud delivery model which offers the lowest level of abstraction. IaaS users have complete control all over their infrastructure, software and tools associated with their tech, but they don’t control the physical infrastructure, which includes data centers or bare metal servers.
IaaS developers have the opportunity to choose the layers of abstraction they want. They can manage everything and they can layer in things like load balancers or even managed services like Managed Kubernetes or Managed Databases to ease the maintaining of their application.
PaaS allows the end-user to add another layer of abstraction. PaaS users don't have to manage the operating system, runtime, or other infrastructural components of their application. PaaS provides the developers a fully managed solution if they want to launch their applications faster. When developers decide to use PaaS as their cloud delivery model, they let the provider manage backend services and system administration and all they got to do is to focus on their development work.
SaaS is the only cloud delivery model which provides the most layers of abstraction. SaaS provides its users an interface which is easy to use without them having to worry about any problem. SaaS users can access software provided by third-party vendors but they are not in charge of the production, maintenance, or modification of that software.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS is one of the three cloud delivery models that allows its users to control all of their infrastructure without maintaining physical hardware. IaaS provides on-demand cloud computing resources over the internet, including storage, networking, and other infrastructural components. Developers can set up their infrastructure and they decide what layers of abstraction they want. IaaS is broken into three main parts: compute, network, and storage. This lets users to create customized systems as complex or strong as they want.
The advantages of using IaaS.
Businesses used to purchase and maintain the hardware and software for their computing needs, which was expensive to implement and carried a high cost to maintain. Once they started using IaaS, now users can avoid expensive costs and buying hardware and maintaining physical data centers. Now they only pay for what they need every month.
Businesses used to find it difficult to maintain their data centers because the capacity of their on-premises infrastructure usually prevailed on how quickly they could move. IaaS users can scale quickly as demand increases. The scale can happen automatically or with just a little management. The scaling process usually can be done with the push of a button because developers aren’t constrained by the capacity of their physical hardware.
Another advantage is that IaaS users don’t need to worry about technical maintenance, troubleshooting equipment issues or software updates. IaaS providers guarantee the users that their services will always be available anytime. More over, most of cloud providers maintain physical data centers in different locations. Users are allowed to host their applications closer to their end customer, decreasing latency and providing a better customer experience because they have several data centers to choose.
IaaS is the best option for small businesses because it allows them to control all over their application by themselves and they avoid the expensive cost of maintaining physical hardware. IaaS provides the infrastructure needed to support web applications, such as servers, networking resources and storage. It offers different hosting options for developers who want to get their websites up and running rapidly and easily. Developers can easily deploy web applications on IaaS and then can continue scaling up and down with demand, providing reliability for the platform and cost savings for the team.
IaaS has a lot of advantages, but you have to consider some things when you decide which is the right cloud delivery model for you. IaaS allows developers to have almost total control over their work, there is a little loss of visibility and control over computing environments. You must choose a trusted provider which maintains high-quality tech and hardware and provides layered security.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS is another cloud delivery model which allows developers to use deployment platforms to build, deploy, and scale their applications. The cloud provider provides all the backend infrastructure, including servers, networking, storage, middleware, the OS, the runtime environments and virtualization. Its users can expect pre-configured runtime environments and predictable scaling, security options and storage. Users have access to some specific, tools, configuration settings and libraries but they can’t change the underlying operating system or network settings. Netooze is a great example of a PaaS offering. It allows users to deploy, build, and scale apps and static sites rapidly and easily while handling provisioning and managing infrastructure, operating systems, data basing, application runtimes, and a lot more.
Using a PaaS platform has a lot of advantages. This can be a great choice for developers who don’t want to customize their underlying infrastructure or who want to give their attention to development rather than DevOps and system administration.
PaaS products are very strong and make it easier to scale, repeat and and deploy. Scaling in IaaS usually requires extra work from the developers to maintain continuity while scaling and may require some interruption while the scaling is taking place. PaaS creates a layer of abstraction between developers and their cloud infrastructure, making the experience easier and allowing for a zero-interruption scaling method. Lots of PaaS solutions also offer auto-scale functionalities that enable the PaaS system to scale automatically.
PaaS also makes it easier for developers to create and delete resources. This is very good for things like proof of concept needs and saving costs when you only pay for the time your application was being used. PaaS often offers a diversity of API integrations, and there are various marketplaces available, making it easier to incorporate other technologies into an application.
Users who don’t want to customize their underlying infrastructure and want an easily managed way to develop their application usually choose PaaS as their cloud delivery model. PaaS is the best way to host mobile and web applications and static sites. PaaS platforms allow developers to boost efficiency and spend their time on what matters most.
PaaS is a very good cloud delivery model, but you need to consider some things depending on what you're looking for. PaaS is best for code deployment but not for customization of the underlying infrastructure. If you need visibility and control into the infrastructure, PaaS may not be the best option for you.
PaaS can be challenging to relocate applications built on PaaS platforms. When you use open-source cloud solutions makes the relocation of computing operations from one provider to another easier. And lastly, it’s more expensive to use a PaaS platform than build something yourself by using an IaaS platform.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is another cloud delivery model in which the software application is provided by a third-party vendor. SaaS applications are designed in cloud infrastructures and can be accessed anywhere. Of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, SaaS provides the most layers of abstraction for the user. It provides access to the software but not the maintenance, modification or production of the software. Many consumers know the SaaS applications because they are one the most popular ways to deliver software.
There are a lot of advantages of using SaaS applications. SaaS offers easy access to complex tech. Its users can access the software over the internet instead of installing, maintaining, and updating software housed on devices. Most of SaaS platforms offer detailed analytics and advanced security, too.
SaaS offers the opportunity for a considerable amount of customer base because the application is available to nearly everyone. Building cloud applications can minimize costs because you only pay for the data and bandwidth you want. SaaS applications are also really easy to update and maintain because developers can make one adjustment and push it across the user base. Developers who take advantage of cloud solutions like Netooze to build their SaaS applications benefit from the flexibility offered to scale as needed, as well as options for simplifying infrastructure management and other time-saving tools.
SaaS applications are popular among businesses and general users like: Slack, Google docs, Office 365 and Adobe Creative Suite. A lot of marketing automation platforms, accounting tools, and productivity tools are SaaS applications.
There are some things you should consider before deciding which cloud delivery model you will use because SaaS isn’t for everyone. SaaS comes with a loss of control. Users receive an interface that’s usually easy to use and effective but has some limitations in customization and there isn't any access to the backend infrastructure. This means that the end-user is reliant on the provider for updates to the platform or additional features.
If you’re using a SaaS provider it can be difficult to change providers. Depending on the service, it could mean massive relocations, data missing, or completely new setups. When choosing a SaaS vendor, you should make sure it has the tools you need. Thinking before deciding will help you avoid the struggle of changing providers later. The SaaS customer support SaaS can vary significantly, from basic documentation and user forums to dedicated support teams who can help with your problems. SaaS prices are often billed every month, but certain SaaS subscriptions may lock users into a year-long contract or offer quarterly or annual payment discounts. Prices can be a flat fee or can go up and down with usage.
If you are interested in knowing more about cloud computing delivery models and which one is the best solution for you, Netooze has a variety of simple products that every developer needs. Explore what you can do with Netooze's simple solutions.